Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the US has returned more than 100 ancient and rare Indian artefacts with their age ranging from 250 years to 2,500 years.

“My dear countrymen, today I want to tell you one more interesting thing. A few days ago an awesome craze appeared on social media. America has returned to us more than a hundred rare and ancient artefacts. After this news came to the fore, there was a lot of discussion on social media about these artefacts,” the Prime Minister said in the 103rd edition of the Mann Ki Baat.

The youth displayed a sense of pride in their heritage. These artefacts returned to India are 2500 to 250 years old, he added.

Artworks from different regions

“You will also be happy to know that these rare items are related to different regions of the country. These have been made using Terracotta, Stone, Metal, and Wood. Some of these are such that they will fill you with wonder. If you have a look at them, you will be left mesmerised. You will also get to see a beautiful sandstone sculpture of the 11th century among these. This is an artwork of an ‘Apsara’ dancing, which belongs to Madhya Pradesh. Many idols of the Chola era are also part of these,” he informed the audience.

The idols of Devi and Lord Murugan date back to the 12th century and are associated with the rich culture of Tamil Nadu. Nearly a thousand-year-old bronze statue of Lord Ganesha has also been returned to India, Modi said.

“An idol of Uma-Maheshwara in Lalitasan is said to be of the 11th century, in which both of them are seated on Nandi. Two stone idols of Jain Tirthankaras have also come back to India. Two idols of Bhagwan Surya Dev will also enthrall you. One of these is made of Sandstone. Among the items returned is a panel made of wood, which brings to the fore the story of the churning of the ocean. This panel of the 16th-17th century is associated with South India,” he added.

Hajj transformation

During his address, the Prime Minister noted that more than 4,000 women performed Hajj without a male companion.

“My dear countrymen, I have also received a large number of such letters this time in ‘Man Ki Baat’ that give a lot of satisfaction to the mind. These letters have been written by those Muslim women who have recently come from Haj pilgrimage. This journey of theirs is very special in many ways. These are the women, who have performed Hajj without any male companion or Mehram, and the number is not fifty or hundred, but more than four thousand – this is a huge transformation,” he said.

“Friends, the changes that have been made in the Haj Policy in the last few years are being highly appreciated. Our Muslim mothers and sisters have written a lot to me about this. Now, more and more people are getting the chance to go for Haj. The blessing given by the people who have returned from Hajj pilgrimage, especially our mothers and sisters through their letters, is very inspiring in itself,” he said.

Initiatives against drug addiction

The Prime Minister also discussed the various drug addiction prevention initiatives implemented by the government in order to wean the youth off drugs.

“Two weeks ago, India has taken a huge action against drugs. After seizing about 1.5 lakh kg consignment of drugs, it has been destroyed. India has also created a unique record of destroying 10 lakh kg of drugs. The cost of these drugs was more than ₹12,000 crore. I would like to appreciate all those who are contributing to this noble campaign of de-addiction,” Prime Minister Modi said.

Drug addiction becomes a big problem not only for the family, but for the whole society. In such a situation, for this danger to end forever, it is necessary that we all move forward in this direction in unison, he added.